Senior quarterback Juwan “Pootie” Carter enters his final season at Norfolk State with a lot near his grasp. The Richmond, VA native is a preseason All-MEAC quarterback and NSU is expected to contend for a title in the new-look MEAC.
But Carter says he’s thinking about hitting the transfer portal and taking his talents elsewhere. Not because he isn’t dedicated to the team or the school. On the contrary, Carter said his concern is about the program, particularly his fellow seniors on the current team.
Earlier this month, Latrell Scott resigned as NSU’s head coach to take a job as tight ends coach at East Carolina. Assistant William “B.T.” Sherman has been installed as interim head coach while a nationwide search is underway to find Scott’s replacement. NSU Director of Athletics Dr. Melody Webb told HBCU Gameday that a search firm is being utilized and that there will be an update soon.
For Carter, any choice outside the remainder of Scott’s coaching staff for the fall would likely lead to him moving elsewhere.
“I might even transfer if he doesn’t get the job,” Carter said. “I might enter the portal. I really don’t want to start over.”
Carter says several of his teammates feel the same way. He said he was initially upset when Scott left, but he understands it’s all in the game.
“It was a business move for him. It’s a business move now,” he said. “I want to win. I know with the team that we have now, we have that chance of winning the MEAC.”
Norfolk State is coming off a 5-7 season in 2019, a record that was a few breaks from finishing 7-5 or 8-4.
There is evidence that replacing Scott right away might not fix what ails NSU, which hasn’t had a winning season since 2011. In fact, since 1984, only Williard Bailey (1984-1992) left NSU with a winning overall record.
“Everything is questionable right now,” Carter said. “Everybody’s not used to Coach Scott being gone. We know what type of person Coach Sherman is. He’s a good coach, we know him and we trust him. So it’s like why not give him the head coaching spot for this year. Let him finish out and prove it.”
Carter led the MEAC in total passing yards (2,631), total offensive yards (2,856) and touchdown responsibility (29) during the 2019 season. He finished second in the league with 23 touchdown passes. The former Highland Springs quarterback will enter the season ranked second in most career NSU passing stats, only behind the great Aaron Sparrow in passing yards, completions and touchdowns.
He wants to help write a new chapter in NSU history, but for him, that means not starting over. At least not until after the fall of 2021.
“I’m trying to go out with that record. I want it. I want to win and go out with the record. But it’s just that — if he leaves— it is just taking that chance.”